Substance Abuse Counselor Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applicant with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate.

At Zippia, we went through over 18,741 Substance Abuse Counselor resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Four Key Resume Tips For Landing a Substance Abuse Counselor Job:

Relevant Experience
Make sure that the jobs, experience, and accolades that you do include are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
The Right Skills
This is a great time to run wild with those keywords found in the job description. If they’re looking for someone with Treatment Plans, be sure to list it as a skill.
Your Unique Qualities
Recruiters and hiring managers are looking at hundreds of resumes. Let yours stand out, and try not to sound too boring.
Strong Content
If you’ve had a lot of jobs, this shouldn’t necessarily be a list of all of them. This is a document designed to market you to a potential employer, so choose the strongest content.

How To Write a Substance Abuse Counselor Resume

Contact Information
First things first — employers only spend about six seconds looking at resumes before they decide to keep them or throw them away, so you should definitely let them know whose it is.
Commute and relocation are things that employers take into consideration when sifting through candidates, so provide your current address in your resume header so that employers have an idea of where you are in relation to their office.
LinkedIn Profile
If you feel that a link to your social media profile could further your standing as a candidate, go ahead and include it. This doesn’t mean you should throw in a link to your hilarious Twitter profile, but instead provide your LinkedIn profile.
Professional Summary (Objective)
Career objective statements are one of the most overlooked pieces of otherwise stellar resumes. It’s not that every Substance Abuse Counselor CV out there needs one — it’s just that the ones that really do need them typically never think to include them.
The goal of this section is simple: to summarize the resume in a few short sentences. Through your resume summary you enable employers to quickly learn whether you are a good match for the job. Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing a professional summary:
Keep it short: it should be 4 sentences max
Highlight your most impressive skills or achievements

Not sure which skills are really important?

3 Big Tips For Listing Skills On Your Resume
Make sure to only include your hard skills on your resume. In addition, include the most in-demand substance abuse counselor skills. Below we have listed the top skills for a substance abuse counselor : The more keywords your resume can “match,” the more likely it is that your resume will be selected for review by human eyes.
Top Skills for a Substance Abuse Counselor
Here are a few key points of to keep in mind while writing your skills section:
Include between 6 to 12 skills
Make sure to only include hard skills
Highlight your most impressive skills or achievements
We compared 18,741 resume examples and job offers and found that the average experience required for a substance abuse counselor job required by employers is 2.0 years.
How much work experience do employers want to see?
The average substance abuse counselor job listing asks for 2.0 years of work experience.
How much work experience does the average substance abuse counselor candidate have?
The average substance abuse counselor resume contains 5.0 years of work experience.
Write your work experience section in a way that embraces your substance abuse counselor skills. Sounds easier said than done? Take a look at how other people have done it. Below are real examples from substance abuse counselor resumes that people have included in their work experience section to demonstrate their knowledge of key skills:
Alcoholic Counselor

Candidate Info

Years In Workforce
Years As a Substance Abuse Counselor
Master's Degree
Master's Degree - Psychology
  • Assisted children in computer lab such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Internet research.
  • Work supervised by Vanessa Moore Hundley, M.A LPC.
  • Facilitated IOP treatment groups both Level II, Level I services, and family groups.
  • Provided custody, supervision, direct care to juveniles generally within the ages of 10-16 within a residential secure facility.
  • Introduced and co-facilitated a therapeutic process group at CASFV under the direct supervision of Dr. Williams and Ms. Idalhi Huizar-Mendoza.
Group Counselor

Candidate Info

Years In Workforce
Years As a Substance Abuse Counselor
Master's Degree
Master's Degree - Social Work
  • Provide basic care for children ages ranging between kindergarten and fifth grade.
  • Collected and accounted for fees received from participants.Job Knowledge/Initiative Trained in providing First Aid and CPR.
  • Worked at a before and after-school program for school age children, grades K-6 Supervised discipline and homework assistance
  • Managed care and activities for groups of 20-40 children ranging from kindergarten through 5th grade.
  • Supervised a group of 30+ boys and girls.
Substance Abuse Counselor

Candidate Info

Years In Workforce
Years As a Substance Abuse Counselor
Master's Degree
Master's Degree - Human Services
  • Maintained yearly certifications in CPR and Food Safety
  • Developed and implement trainings related to Trauma Informed Care practices, specifically sensory application techniques for trauma.
  • Coordinated referrals made by DCFS.
  • Utilized Multi-systemic Therapy ( MST) with families served.LAURENS DISABILITIES & SPECIAL NEEDS BOARD Laurens, South Carolina
  • Facilitated IOP treatment groups both Level II, Level I services, and family groups.
Clinical Counselor

Candidate Info

Years In Workforce
Years As a Substance Abuse Counselor
Doctoral Degree
Doctoral Degree - Social Work
  • Ensured HIPAA compliance and maintained patient privacy and confidential patient information.
  • Conducted group therapy for those suffering from trauma and abuse.
  • Certified State and nationally to provide Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and support parents using this model.
  • Provide in-home family and individual counseling.
  • Key Achievements Awarded Falcons Award for Service Basic Life Support & CPR Certified Crisis Prevention Intervention Training Infection Control Committee member
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Since substance abuse counselor roles are fairly specialized, a strong educational background is important. Our data showed that most substance abuse counselor resumes list a master's degree as the highest level of education.
Based on our analysis of substance abuse counselor resumes, the most common major for substance abuse counselor candidates is Social Work, but other majors made their way in as well. Psychology, Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling were relatively common.
As shown above, the Education section can be very brief. However make sure to include the following:
The name of the school you attended
The year you attended
Your major
Your GPA
The level of education you attained

Substance Abuse Counselor Salary

Did your resume land you an interview? Be prepared to talk salary.

How To Answer "What Are Your Salary Requirements"

When you are ready to send your resume to employers, it's important to be aware of the current market conditions for Substance Abuse Counselors. Salary can vary based on factors such as location, company, and industry. Check out our detailed salary information for Substance Abuse Counselors to learn more.

Average Employee Salary
Min 10%
Median 50%
Max 90%